MLB Pick: Underdog Value Play Friday

LT Profits Sports Group

Friday, May 24, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Friday, May. 24, 2013 4:00 AM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay underdog that has a better chance of winning than its odds, offering long term value. Here is their Underdog Value Play for Friday.

In a battle between two pitchers that are in good form, offense should decide the outcome when Eric Stults and the San Diego Padres (21-25, 8-13 away) pay a visit to Brandon McCarthy and the Arizona Diamondbacks (26-21, 12-11 home) in the first game of a three-game series from Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ at 9:40 ET.

The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has San Diego as a road underdog for this contest at current odds of +117.

The Diamondbacks are now in a three-way tie atop a tight National League West with the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies after just losing two out of three to those Rockies, giving Arizona three losses in the last four games overall, while the Padres are next in fourth 4½ games back.

Arizona has received very good starting pitching for most of the season, but the offense is struggling right now having scored a grand total of 12 runs in the last five games. Furthermore, the Diamondbacks have struggled against southpaws all year, which bodes well for San Diego’s Stults.

Now, McCarthy has been just about perfect while tossing 17 scoreless innings in his last two starts for Arizona, including a Complete Game three-hit shutout vs. the Miami Marlins last time out that only required 99 pitches. However he may need to pitch that well again just to keep the Snakes in this game given the current state of their offense, and the Padres represent a step up in class from the terrible Miami offense he shut down last time and even the Phillies before that.

San Diego was among the weakest hitting teams in the National League a couple of years ago, but they improved last season partly due to the emergence of Chase Headley, who led the National League with 115 RBI, and after a bit of a slow start this season the Padres are batting a very nice .278 vs. right-handed pitchers over the last 10 games while averaging a hefty 5.01 runs per nine innings against them.

Stults did not have the best of Aprils for San Diego, but he has yet to allow more than three runs in four May starts while going 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, and he had another sharp outing while beating the Washington Nationals last Saturday allowing one run and four hits in eight innings.

Stults has also yet to allow more than three earned runs in any of his five career starts vs. Arizona with three of those starts coming last season, including allowing a total of only three runs and eight hits in 13 innings over two starts here in the desert with 10 strikeouts. The southpaw is now catching a Diamondbacks’ lineup that is batting only .230 vs. left-handed pitchers this season while averaging just 3.12 runs per nine innings against them.

The Padres now have the makings of a nice middle of the batting order with rookie Jedd Gyorko, who is batting .333 with five home runs during the month of May, Yonder Alonso and the aforementioned Headley, and look for those bats to help cool off McCarthy in support of Stults as San Diego prevails at an underdog price Friday.

[gameodds]3/227859/238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick: Padres +117

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